How To Find the Difference Between Joy & Happiness
While I was sitting around a bottle of red wine, a home cooked meal, the best 5 friends I could ask for, and hilarious conversations about bridezillas and wedding plans I realized; if not only for those couple of hours, I was happy. Happiness consumed me like an ocean wave as we enjoyed dessert and talked long into the evening about plans for the future, old friends and what we’d look like sitting on a porch together as elderly people. It was an odd feeling of contentment that creeps up once in awhile; the kinds of moments that you never want to let go of.
They’re different for all of us, but one thing is a constant…they end. I found myself introverted as my friends talked amongst themselves (probably making fun of me) wondering how to make this feeling a part of my natural existence. Here’s what I came up with in my spiral of a noggin.
If I want to be happy, I have to be quick to forgive.
The first assessment I made was that every person at this table was someone I had been in some sort of argument with, but we had completely forgiven each other. It wasn’t a short lived, bury the hatchet and move on, forgive but don’t forget thing. It was an “I forgive you, I forget what you did, and I want to work towards deepening our friendship.” moment. This made light conversation easy, and made deep conversation easier. It also put happiness within arms reach. If I could make this part of my everyday life, with everyone, I could live a lighter life.
If I want to be happy, I have to participate.
This is for my introverts. I’m the first to admit I am not a people person, I am not the life of the party, nor am I mr. charm people’s socks off. But because of this, I’ve found that when I do adamantly participate the reward is greater. Because I don’t speak much, my friends are eager to hear what I have to say, which makes my interactions more fun. Take my word on this mr./miss. introvert jump into the mix! You don’t have to change who you are, just say whats on your mind! We have a God that created us and our minds, you withholding your input is withholding the information God made for you to give to the situation. Fun or serious, you have every right to add your value to the conversation.
If I want to be happy, I have to find joy.
It took me all but two minutes of spacing out at dinner to figure out that joy and happiness are vastly different. Happiness is a beautiful moment. Joy lasts a lifetime. Joy is a byproduct of living a Godly life. The more I learn about who God really is and apply it to my life, the more I’m realizing that I can be in joy even when things aren’t going well. I can be in joy even when I’m sad. (You don’t make sense, Angel)
I know it’s a conundrum, allow me to elaborate. In scripture Joy is used to describe one of the attributes of God. So when I’m up to my eyeballs in stuff going wrong, backed up on my projects, behind on the mortgage or having a rough day it’s my understanding of God and who He is to me (joy) that will get me though it all. Because I know that He can do it all. That is true joy.
In Comparison to Joy, Happiness is a Weak Second.
When I came to at the dinner table, all of my friends were still there, laughing, talking, poking fun at my introversion (love them for that). But one thing had changed, I understood no matter how happy I was in that moment, the future had greater joy on it’s way, a perpetual joy. That gave me such a feeling of comfort and love for God, and I was able to enjoy that moment even more. Because I finally worked out the difference between Joy & Happiness.